By Scilla Wahrhaftig
Published: September 3, 2013

Reflections on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington

I have been reflecting on the importance of the National Action to Realize the Dream march on August 24, 2013, in Washington, D.C. It was a huge, very diverse gathering, with people coming from all over the country to be part of an historic event.

Why does it feel that while the movement is still alive, the energy and vision are missing?

When I reflect back on the first march in 1963, it was at a real changing moment in the civil rights movement. It was clear that the tide was turning, and...

By Stephen McNeil
Published: August 30, 2013

Note: Stephen McNeil is Assistant Director for Peace-building Programs in AFSC's West region. On Aug. 25, 2013, after traveling from San Francisco and attending the 50th anniversary March on Washington to Realize the Dream, Stephen helped to organize a public event at Friends Meeting of Washington commemorating the life of Bayard Rustin, one of the march's chief organizers and a committed Quaker. - Madeline

Bayard Rustin, Quaker, occasional AFSC staffer, and key contributor to the seminal AFSC paper, "Speak Truth to Power," is...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: August 16, 2013

Criminal Justice reform is catching fire in Quaker communities around the country, in large part due to the publication and popularization of Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow.” The facts embedded in every page are undeniable and horrifying, and illustrate a truth that many have known for years, that these injustices are tied directly to this country’s history of slavery. It’s as if the book has finally made it okay for Quakers (and others) to speak up against injustice and to face our country’s past. This book,...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: August 15, 2013

Note: Vincent Harding was a close friend of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the primary author of "Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break the Silence." He is Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at Illiff School of Theology in Denver and the chairperson of the Veterans of Hope Project: A Center for the Study of Religion and Democratic...

By Lori Fernald Khamala
Published: August 12, 2013

Note: Lori Fernald Khamala, program director of AFSC's Project Voice in Greensboro, North Carolina, shares the story of how AFSC partnered with FCNL and local Quakers to advocate for humane immigration reform this month. - Madeline

Even though Quaker organizations often work on the same issues and share the same values, it doesn’t mean we always work together as well as we should. But recently, a local collaboration between AFSC and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) netted big gains.

When I got a call from an FCNL intern working on immigration...